Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden traveled to Georgia last week following a tragic mass shooting event that unfolded across a series of massage parlors.
Both Biden and Harris attributed the horrific crime to anti-Asian racism, even suggesting that former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric could have played a part. However, as Breitbart writer Joel Pollak pointed out, law enforcement officials have indicated that the available evidence doesn’t suggest that it was a racially-motivated murder spree.
Trump blame game
“Racism is real in America and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America and always has been. Sexism, too,” Harris reportedly said during her visit, which was a detour from a cross-country public relations trip in which Harris and Biden set out to talk about the recently-passed “American Rescue Plan.”
“For the last year, we’ve had people in positions of incredible power scapegoating Asian Americans, people with the biggest pulpits, spreading this kind of hate,” she added.
That was a jab obviously intended for Trump, who often refers to COVID-19 as the “China virus,” and has been highly critical of how the communist Chinese government has handled the pandemic.
“Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation. This is about how we treat people with dignity and respect,” Harris said, according to Fox News.
Biden spoke up at the Atlanta event as well, saying, “We’re learning what we’ve always known: Words have consequences. It’s the coronavirus, full stop… Hate and violence often hide in plain sight, it’s often met with silence.”
According to Pollack, Biden also called on Congress to pass the “COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act,” a piece of legislation that was tabled last year.
That bill would have added additional penalties to any crime motivated by “the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID–19 of any person” due to the “race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability of any person.”
Other races involved
As the Breitbart correspondent observed, local authorities remain steadfast in their early reporting that the alleged shooter was not motivated by racial animus.
Although six of the eight murder victims were Asian American women, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that two white individuals were also killed and a Hispanic man was wounded as a result of the shooting spree.
“A motive is still not clear, but a crime against any community is a crime against us all,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said.